In the annals of human exploration, few endeavors capture the imagination quite like the quest to conquer the heavens. While the modern era has witnessed remarkable achievements in space exploration, it may come as a surprise to many that the desire to reach the moon and explore its mysteries dates back centuries. One such remarkable, albeit unfinished, endeavor took place in the 17th century by Dr. John Wikings—a daring mission to journey to the moon in a flying chariot and establish contact with its rumored inhabitants.
During the 17th century, Galileo’s amazing astronomical discoveries exploded scientific knowledge in the country. These things began to pique people’s interest, and they began to consider traveling into the vast universe. Like others inspired by these new scientific advancements, the founder of the Royal Society, Dr. John Wikings, also prepared for a lunar mission to meet the inhabitants of the moon. According to him, he would make people fly to the moon in an open chariot with wings. The chariot will take off from the earth, similar to how a magnet opposes another magnet.
Since his childhood, John Wilkins has had a passion for science. He was a follower of Nicolaus Copernicus, who developed a model of the solar system with the sun at its center and Earth and other planets orbiting it. The great novels of the era also served as inspiration for his space travel. These novels included Johannes Kepler’s Somnium (1634). He believed everything that he read, and he also believed in alien life.
As mentioned earlier, the 17th century was the time when scientific advancement was at its peak, and many inventions, such as the telescope, were made at the time. So John Wikings also wanted to get his name written in the history books along with the names of the great inventors. John Wikings noted down his whole idea of lunar mission in his book “Discovery of a New World; or, A Discourse tending to Prove that ‘tis probable there may be another habitable World in the Moon.” He also wrote how all this would happen. Later he became the father of the space program.
Dr. John Wikings Flying Chariot
John Wikings elaborated on how his open chariot with wheels would carry people to the moon. His revolutionary idea was based on the earth’s gravitational force. However, he also stated a problem: the earth’s gravitational pull is only up to 32 km above the surface. Of course, his idea was rubbish. But the fact that gravity was discovered 50 years later means that Wikings’ knowledge of gravity proved him one of the most intelligent minds of the 17th century.
John Wikings said that the distance between the earth and the moon was only 289,219 kilometers. His idea of solving food scarcity for the crew members of the lunar mission was hibernation. He stated that by hibernating, the astronauts would not require meals.
“If a man could constantly keep on his Journey Thither to Moon in a straight line, though he could fly a thousand miles in a day, yet he would not arrive thither under 180 days or half a year.”Dr. John Wikings
John Wikings was a firm believer in extraterrestrial life. He felt that there would be life on other plants, and that is the reason why the creator of the world made multiple planets. He was so keen to start the lunar mission that he developed a universal secret language for the people who were interested in his plan. He did this so that people could convey their messages secretly to each other. Gradually, as John Wikings grew older, he realized that going to the moon was impossible. While Wilkins’ dream of reaching the moon may have remained unrealized in his time, his daring vision played a vital role in paving the way for future generations of explorers and scientists.
The 17th century’s unfinished moon mission in a flying chariot to meet lunar inhabitants remains a captivating tale of ambition and imagination. While the mission itself never materialized, it represents a significant milestone in humanity’s pursuit of space exploration. It serves as a reminder of the boundless human spirit, the unrelenting curiosity that drives us to explore the unknown, and the enduring legacy of Dr. John Wikings who dared to dream of reaching the moon. As we continue our journey into the cosmos, we carry with us the inspiration and lessons from this remarkable chapter in our collective history.
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